Advocacy Communities

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program

Tackling the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development will depend on harnessing all talent, and today, more than ever, science and gender equality are equally vital to drive sustainable development. Despite this truth, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers, and with even lower percentages at higher decision-making levels. In response, L’Oréal and UNESCO founded the For Women in Science (FWIS) program in 1998 with the mission to empower more women in the field of sciences by increasing the number of women in scientific research, promoting more young women to enter the profession, and to assist them once their careers are in progress.

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program Global Laureates

Celebrating and recognizing remarkable women scientists. Two For Women In Science Global Laureates graced the Philippine Ceremony of the program and
served as an inspiration to future women scientists. Dr. Reiko Kuroda (Left) was awarded the FWIS Global Laureate for Asia/Pacific in 2013 and Dr. Lourdes Cruz (Right) is the FWIS Global Laureate for Asia/Pacific in 2010, the first and only Filipina and Southeast Asian to win the award in its two-decade run

Since the launch of FWIS, the program has supported more than 3,100 women scientists from 117 countries and celebrated 102 renowned scientists at the peak of their careers including three who have won a Nobel Prize. The program has increased the visibility, career opportunities, and self-confidence of women scientists across the world. The Philippines has had the privilege of seeing Dr. Lourdes Cruz win as a Global Laureate (2010) for her work with snail toxins and has had four Filipina scientists awarded as National Fellows (2011 and 2012).

June 5, 2018, marks a milestone for the Philippines as FWIS celebrates the return of the program in the Country through the awarding of the newest FWIS National Fellow. The program’s return to the Philippines cements L’Oréal’s strong commitment to pushing women empowerment and leadership in science in the Philippines. “The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program was founded with the mission to ensure that critical research across various fields in science takes full advantage of the intelligence, creativity, and passion of women,” shares Ms. Carmel Valencia, Corporate Communications Manager of L’Oréal Philippines.

“We have been immensely proud of the work of our Laureates, Fellows and all the awardees across various fields, each proving to be vital in contributing towards sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability. They all serve as testaments to our belief that women in science truly have the power to change the world,” she asserts.

More than just an awarding ceremony, the forum tackled the multifaceted challenges of gender inequality in the field of science, recognized women’s contributions across various fields, and underscored the critical need for their full participation in driving the sustainable development agenda.

To solidify their commitment to the drive increased women participation and success in the field of science, a six-point manifesto was signed by representatives from L’Oréal, UNESCO, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and the scientific community.

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program Manifesto Signing
A commitment to empowering women in science. Representatives from L’Oréal, UNESCO, NAST, and the scientific community come together to sign the manifesto pushing for increased women participation and success in the field of science.

The forum also featured distinguished panel speakers and women leaders from the scientific moderated by Ms. Rina Jimenez-David including Dr. Didith Rodrigo, Scientist and Author of “Women in Science” Children’s Books; Dr. Marieta Sumagaysay, Executive Director, National Research Council of the Philippines; and Dr. Laura David, FWIS Philippines National Fellow 2011; and Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, FWIS Philippines National Fellow 2012, to name a few. Each shared on their experiences as Filipina scientists and the opportunities that they see for more thought-leaders in the community. Through the discussion, it is L’Oréal’s and UNESCO’s hope to encourage visibility on the challenges and breakthroughs of Filipina scientists and push more sectors to provide support.

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program Panel Discussion
Empowered women on inspiring the next generation of Filipina scientists. Columnist Ms. Rina Jimenez-David moderates a panel discussion with distinguished scientists Dr. Didith Rodrigo, Dr. Marieta Sumagaysay, Dr. Laura David, and Dr. Aletta Yñiguez as they shared their experiences as women scientists and provided guidance to aspiring scientists.

In its first year back, FWIS awarded one outstanding woman scientist who is leading with her study in chemical oceanography. Dr. Charissa Ferrera is recognized as the FWIS Philippines National Fellow 2018. With a relevant and timely research on the water quality in coastal areas and fishing localities particularly Bolinao and Anda, Dr. Ferrera pushes for sustainable mariculture by advocating to help communities recover from effects of pollution through effective science communication.

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program Awarding

“I see my win as an opportunity to create a ripple effect that will allow for more individuals to be inspired to pursue careers in science,” shares Dr. Ferrera on winning the fellowship. As a woman who dared to ask, she hopes to encourage women who want to become researchers to stay motivated. “Look for opportunities because they are there and do not be afraid to ask. Always go for what you want and keep going no matter the circumstances,” advised Dr. Ferrera.

L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program Dr. Charissa Ferrera
For Women In Science Philippines National Fellow 2018, Dr. Charissa Ferrera

After its first year back in the country, FWIS looks at further pushing the needle to create an impact in the local scientific community and will continue to recognize women in the field as well as encourage awareness among the younger generation.

About For Women In Science
Founded in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership was created to recognize and promote women in science. Its programs reward established women scientists whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge and provide support to promising young women who are already making significant contributions in their scientific disciplines.

About L’Oréal Philippines
L’Oréal Philippines has been present in the country as a wholly owned subsidiary of L’Oréal since 1994. Based on the unique and diverse beauty needs of every Filipino, L’Oreal Philippines manages a portfolio of the most technologically advanced brands across several beauty categories and present across all beauty channels, including L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier, Nyx Professional Makeup, Kiehl’s, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Guy Laroche, L’Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase, and Matrix.

As one of the big beauty players in the country, L’Oréal Philippines has also made its contributions as a good corporate citizen to the country over its 25 years of presence. It is our priority and commitment to reduce the impact of our actions on the planet and bolster positive socio-economic impact on the lives of people and communities in the Philippines. This has been done through our various philanthropic activities such as “Beauty For a Better Life,” and “Citizen Day”.

About L’Oréal
L’Oréal has devoted itself to beauty for over 100 years. With its unique international portfolio of 34 diverse and complementary brands, the Group generated sales amounting to 26.02 billion euros in 2017 and employs 82 600 people worldwide. As the world’s leading beauty company, L’Oréal is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce. Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 3 885 people are at the core of L’Oréal’s strategy, working to meet beauty aspirations all over the world. L’Oréal’s sustainability commitment for 2020 “Sharing Beauty With All” sets out ambitious sustainable development objectives across the Group’s value chain. For more information:

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